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Grand CherokeeGrand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty on the Chopping Block?
Posted by mike on 2009/7/28 21:46:47 (2633) reads

I've gotten a couple of reports from readers that big changes might be in the works for Toledo, Ohio-based Jeep assembly plants.

First up, rumors are circulating that Grand Cherokee production might be on the move to Toledo in the next 2 or 3 years. Word on the street is that Detroit's Jefferson North Assembly (current home of the Grand Cherokee) will get re-tooled to build something a bit more "Fiat-y".

If the Grand Cherokee assembly does head to Toledo, where will it end up? Our sources say that the answer to that question is the Liberty's current assembly plant. What will happen to the Liberty at that point? Signs indicate that the Liberty may not be in production any more at that point...

Keep in mind that at this point, this is all just speculation - nothing official has been announced...

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Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/8/4 6:47  Updated: 2009/8/4 6:47
Just popping in
Joined: 2009/8/4
Posts: 6
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...

I am a Jeep lover through and through but with Jeeps bloated, as they are, I rather invested in Suzuki's range of mini 4x4s (a laugh with a tear)

My 1997 Suzuki Samurai Hardtop (coil spring suspension) was build to within +/- 1% of the CJ2A dimensions. (Wheel size excluded)

I recently added a 2009 Suzuki Jimny Hardtop to my collection. I find both vehicles excellent on and off road. Feul economy is also very good. These small "Bobcats" are very user friendly too. I comfortably cruise at 120 km/h and often do trips exceeding 800 km in distance.

To be honest, I prever to drive these distances on secondary and worse roads (I am South African) I am now planning a trip from Jeddah (Sauidi Arabia) to Cape Town (South Africa) off road only

I wish Jeep would add to their vehicle line-up both, a Suzuki Samurai / Jimny equivalent and a mid size BAKKIE (pick-up). I will buy both.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/8/2 22:36  Updated: 2009/8/2 22:36
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
Posts: 247
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
I heard the Nitro is going to be discontinued sooner...its a badge-engineered Liberty anyway...The R/T is nice, with the 4.0 engine and 5 speed auto trans, but no real off-road capability.

I am hoping for a Jeep-Willys type vehicle built off of the Panda 4X4 Platform, because I think that would be the most viable. Jeep has been lacking a 4 cyl off-roader, and for that matter, a 4 cyl convertible since the TJ left the scene, plus the Panda is more capable than the Compass and the Patriot.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/8/2 10:11  Updated: 2009/8/2 10:13
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
Posts: 377
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
What probably would make more sense, since the manufacturing lines are flexible...

Discontinue the Nitro, build the new 2011 Grand Cherokee in it's place on the assembly line. If demand increases for one, reduce the production of the other. If demand increases for both, add additional shifts to make better use of the facilities that are at hand.

By producing the core Jeep brands -- the Grand Cherokee (larger mid-size SUV as the new one will be slightly bigger than the current Commander) / Liberty (smaller mid-size SUV) / Wrangler -- in Toledo, they can also reduce the costs of shipping parts around the country. Jeep-specific parts like transfer cases, trim pieces, etc. can all be shipped to one location and split up as needed.

Any "Fiat-y" Jeep is not likely to use the same off-road systems that the core Jeeps do.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/29 14:29  Updated: 2009/7/29 14:29
Just popping in
Joined: 2005/7/19
From: Portland, OR
Posts: 17
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
I'd hate to see the Liberty go. I prefer its boxy, utilitarian appearance to the Grand, and it gets somewhat better mileage. I'd like to see Jeep continue with something in the XJ spirit, and less of a Land/Range Rover competitor. Actually, I think they need both types.

As much as I liked the old XJ (had three), the Liberty is much more comfortable, quieter, and gets better mileage. It does not have the same clearances or articulation, but it's not that bad. I think Jeep needs a mid-size vehicle, preferable getting 25 mpg. All I need is adequate highway power. The V6 is plenty. Low gears handle the trail work. Our first XJ was a 2.5L four. It was marginal on highway hills, and noisy, but killer on the trails.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/31 13:09  Updated: 2009/7/31 13:09
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/1/9
Posts: 34
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
Jeeps have really become bloated. The XJ replaced by the Liberty gained hundreds of pounds as has the current Wrangler relative to the CJ. Perhaps Jeep can get back to its roots with efficient simple vehicles. Wouldn't mind seeing a small Jeep pickup with diesel particularly now that Toyota has abandoned that segment. And, perhaps the Fiat Panda, which has been really successful in Europe and elsewhere can replace the XJ.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/29 10:30  Updated: 2009/7/29 10:30
Home away from home
Joined: 2002/3/22
Posts: 247
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
We just got an '09 Liberty and coming off of a Commander, we are thoroughly impressed with the Liberty.

Yes it is close in features to the GC, but who is going to pay the Premium for the GC when they can have a fully loaded Liberty for the price of a mid-line GC?

This segment has always existed as the Cherokee which was taken over by the Liberty, and I thionk it will continue to exist.

Remember the Jeep plants were re-tooled with flexible assembly line system that could in theory build all of the Jeeps, and certainly a Liberty and a GC on the same line on the same day.

I guess we won't know what direction Jeep is heading until the announce what Fiat-y vehicle they are going to build.

My guess is a small Jeep-Willys-type vehicle built on the Fiat Panda Platform..Hopefully they will remain true to the Concept Willys. Jeep has been lacking a true 4cyl. off-roader since the departure of the TJ.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/29 1:03  Updated: 2009/7/29 1:03
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/6/30
From: Kelowna, BC
Posts: 124
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
It's not surprising, really. Nobody EVER agrees with me on this, but I feel the Liberty and Grand Cherokee lines have come too close in size and features. They are opposite ends of the style spectrum, but they occupy the same space for a lot of people. Can you really see yourself owning both? No, of course not. There's no reason to. Now with a 4-door JK out there, how many "family SUVs" does Jeep really need on the market? This was inevitable.

Now build a dang truck, already.

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/29 1:14  Updated: 2009/7/29 1:14
Just popping in
Joined: 2009/7/26
Posts: 4
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
i agree with you....after all the Grand was originally intended to be a replacement for the Cherokee(which eventually gave way to the Liberty).....

But I agree with you even more about building a dang truck....a regular cab like the JT(small is good) and a 4 door Tacoma killer(because I have kids to haul===but still keep it small); might as well throw in a Gladiator also, but the single cab and 4 door are a must and make 'em with a usable tailgate--unlike JT.....

It really irks me to the core that this is not a reality right now. Every new Mahindra truck that is about to be sold would have been a Jeep truck buyer along with alot of Tacoma/Frontier/H3T/Colorado/Ranger/Equator purchases......would sell better than the tired, blah Dakota......

Poster Thread
Posted: 2009/7/29 8:55  Updated: 2009/7/29 8:55
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2006/7/25
Posts: 97
 Re: Grand Cherokee Production Moving to Toledo? Liberty o...
I have an '06 Tacoma. I would have bought a Jeep if they offered a mid-sized truck with the same capabilities. I bought a Tacoma because it and the Frontier are far and away the best mid-sized trucks, both for light-truck use (top soil, mulch, drywall) and for off-roading. The domestics are all horrible trucks. If there were a Jeep truck that performs like the Japanese offerings, I wouldn't have even considered the Toyota.
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